Why You Should Actually Forget Most Of The Things You Capture

Ev Chapman
July 18, 2022
2 min read

Should you really capture everything that comes into your head?

We’ve come to take it as gospel that our knowledge management system or our ‘second brain’ should act like our first brain - only better. Our first brain for some odd reason can’t hold a lot of stuff that this modern world throws at us.

So we have to constantly capture every little thing that comes into our first brain into our second brain system so our first brain can focus on what it does best - which is thinking and being creative (does that sound as complicated to you as it does to me?)

But what if our first brain was meant to forget stuff?

I religiously followed GTD ways for about 15 years from my 20’s. I captured every single little thing that came into my head. Writing it down, getting it into the correct lists, reviewing those lists, scheduling the tasks, doing the tasks.

But I never felt like I was getting ahead.

Rather than feeling like I was working at my highest level, on the most important tasks of my life. I constantly felt like I was maintaining systems and dealing with the minutiae of things tumbling out of my head that I thought I couldn’t possibly forget.

Like everything that comes out of my first brain was worthy of being captured and worked on.

But what if our brain is actually the best filtering machine? Filtering out what is not important and leaving only what is important remaining?

I’m not saying we shouldn’t have a second brain, or capture what’s on our mind. But rather take the time to think why we believe our first brains are bad & ‘forget’ so much stuff these days? Maybe we should wonder if there’s a good reason for that? Maybe there’s a bad reason too?

But it’s certainly worth taking the time to think about it.

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